Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Topping

We've given directions for making a homemade crust with a food processor. If you want, you can use a pre-made frozen crust. Look for a deep dish one. If you use a shallow frozen crust, you may have enough filling for two pies. In that case you may need to reduce the cooking time.

  • Yield: Serves 8


Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups (160g) all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (skip the salt if using salted butter)
  • 10 Tbsp (140g) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp ice water

Pie Filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 pounds (900g) sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sized sweet potatoes)
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 cup (55g) brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp granulated white sugar (can reduce to 1 Tbsp if you want less sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon whisky (optional)
  • 7 ounces (210ml) sweetened condensed milk

Pie Topping

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup (64g) brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup pecans (110g), half of them roughly chopped, the other half whole


1 Make the pie dough: If you are making the pie crust from scratch, make the pie dough at least an hour in advance of making the pie. To make the dough, put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to blend.

Add half of the butter and pulse several times. Add the rest of the butter and pulse several more times, until the butter pieces are not bigger than the size of a pea.

Add 2 Tbsp of ice water and pulse a couple of times. Add another Tbsp, and maybe just a teaspoon more if needed, and pulse, just enough so that the dough holds together when you pinch it with your fingers.

Empty the food processor bowl onto a clean surface and gather the dough into your hands and form a ball. Flatten to a smooth disk about 6 inches wide. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

2 Bake the sweet potatoes: Pierce the sweet potatoes with the tines of a fork in several places.

Put on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 1 hour, or until cooked through and soft.


Remove the sweet potatoes from oven when done and let cool.

3 Roll out the pie dough, line pie dish, freeze: Remove the dough disk from the refrigerator and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling it out. Place it on a clean, lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a 14-inch round, large enough for a 9-inch pie plate.

Place on dough on and in the pie dish, turn the edges under and crimp the edges. Poke the bottom of the crust a few times with tines of a fork.

Place into the freezer to chill.

4 Mash the cooked sweet potatoes: When the cooked sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Mash with a potato masher. You should have 2 cups of sweet potato purée.

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5 Beat eggs with sugars, spices, bourbon, sweetened condensed milk: In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla extract, bourbon whisky (if using), and sweetened condensed milk.

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6 Combine egg mixture with mashed sweet potatoes, pour into pie shell: Whisk together the egg sugar mixture with the mashed sweet potato until smooth. Pour into the frozen, unbaked pie shell. Smooth surface so that it is even.

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7 Bake: Bake at 350°F for one hour or until the filling has set. Remove from oven and let sit to cool down for 30 minutes or so.


8 Make pecan topping: Melt 3 Tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and cook, stirring, until smooth, a couple of minutes. The sugar should bubble up a bit.

Stir in 1 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream. The mixture should bubble up a lot. As soon as you've mixed in the cream, add the pecans. Stir to coat the pecans with the sugar mixture.

As soon as the pecans are coated with the sugar mixture, pour them over the top of the pie. Use the back of a metal spoon to spread them out in an even layer on the top of the pie.

Let the pie cool for a few minutes before serving.

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  • Cindy

    Hi Elise, do you think the pie would be just as tasty without the pecan topping (for nut allergy eaters)?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Cindy! Emma, managing editor for Simply Recipes, here! I think a nut-free version of this pie would be great — similar to pumpkin pie. You might think about topping it with some whipped cream, too!

  • Prema

    I made this pie on Thanksgiving. It was absolutely delicious . I followed the recipe exactly. I am a pie novice (this was my first pie). I wouldn’t change a thing about the recipe. I am making it again for Christmas.


    • Elise

      I’m so glad you liked it Prema!

  • Sharon

    Do you think this could be made ahead and frozen? I’m traveling for thanksgiving, and would love to bring this on the car ride.

    • Malaïka

      Hi Sharon, I’m wondering the same thing: can I make it ahead of time and freeze it? Or maybe freeze the shell and the filling seperately than bake it in a week or so? Let me know if you did it and how it went! Thanks!

  • Glenn Sullivan

    I made this last night, and it is DIVINE! The only thing I’d do differently is “draw” the cut marks for the slices in the topping before it hardens., so you aren’t trying to cut through a pecan to get a slice out. Thanks again Elise!

  • Carole Sveum

    Your pie looks wonderful. In cooking or roasting, sweet potatoes and “yams” are vastly different. Your picture looks like it is made from yams. Due to added moisture, can they be used interchangeably. Almost all recipes ask just for sweet potatoes, just don’t see how they can work. Thanks

  • Wendy

    In Canada we call the orange fleshed Sweet Potatoes YAMS in case anybody from Canada is wondering.

  • PinkPanthress

    Hmm… this sounds so exotique to me… I need to try it. :)

    I have someone at home who won’t eat this if I put the cinnamon & vanilla in it… can I skip them or would that change the taste too much…?

    • Elise

      Just skip the vanilla and cinnamon if that’s an issue.

  • k3v0

    i like to hit the sugar crust with a torch to really make it crisp and toast the pecans.

  • Ashley

    Hey Elise, I was just curious do you actually use Sweet Potatoes or do you use Yams for this recipe? I have looked at several different recipes and people often call yams, sweet potatoes and mostly mean yams when they say sweet potatoes. My last attempt at a sweet potato pie I used a combination of both sweet potatoes and yams. It worked but I’m still wondering.

    Great question. Actually here in the U.S. what we call yams are orange-colored sweet potatoes. I use them interchangeably in cooking. ~Elise

  • Deb

    The little sweet potato pies recipe is now posted here:


  • BBQ Junkie

    My grandmother-in-law, who makes the best sweet potato pie, told me that the secret to her pies is “a lot of butter and a lot of sugar.”

    I have found that you can pretty much apply this secret to any dessert :)

  • Deb

    Elise, if you had never had sweet potato pie, then probably you’ve never had “little” sweet potato pies (with the sweet potato filling placed inside a rolled out biscuit and folded over, sizzled in frying pan, sprinkled with 10x sugar, and eaten immediately.) Delicious.

    I just bought some sweet potatoes yesterday and plan to make these little pies. I will try and take a picture of them and put the recipe on my blog–hopefully in the next day or two. Thank you for the “big” sweet potato pie recipe.